Proven high-end quality, comfort, and performance
For racers and recreational sport riders, a good pair of motocross boots is essential. The Gaerne SG-10 boots we’ve been testing certainly fit that description.
Motocross boots not only help protect you in case of an accident, they also help protect your feet and ankles from the constant impacts of off-road riding. Racers often spend a little more on boots in search of a higher level of protection. With a higher quality boot also comes a higher level of comfort and refinement, qualities which greatly benefit cross country racers and all-day trail riders.
Gaerne is famous for its line of high-end motocross foot wear and the SG-10 boots have had a lot to do with that. When they were released nearly a decade ago they were Gaerne’s flagship off-road boot, though they have recently been relegated to number 2 by Gaerne’s new SG-12. Despite 10 years in advancement from its competitors, SG-10 boots remain a favorite among racers, due to their construction, design, and a list of features that still keeps them competitive.
Gaerne’s boots are built in Italy, starting with Italian full grain leather. Armored with injection molded plastic, SG-10s are designed to protect your shin, top of the toe area, sides, and back of your feet. Additional plastic armoring can be found traveling up the hinged floating razorback and on the front of the floating shin guard. The floating razorback works with the built-in hinged ankle alignment system, helping to disperse crushing impacts from your ankles throughout the entire boot. It’s also designed to help prevents rolling your ankle sideways, while allowing easy pivoting from front to back. Finally, the razorback makes stepping into the boots easier.
Much attention was paid to making sure that the SG-10s could meet the ergonomic needs of a wide variety of riders. To start off with, they are available in sizes 6 to 14. A floating shin guard on the front of the boot helps accommodate riders with different sized calf muscles, along with the growing number of riders using knee braces.
A rubber grip guard on the inside of your legs help you better stay in contact with the machine and protect you from heat. Designed to meet the needs of four-stroke riders, the rubber compound is said to be more heat resistant than leather. Its non-porous design promotes better clean off and grip in wet conditions.
On the bottom of the boot, an interior steel shank adds strength and rigidity to the soul area to disperse impact with a steel toe for additional protection. Dual Composite rubber soles feature a black area, which generally contacts the pegs. It features a higher carbon content for increased durability. The rest of the sole uses a softer rubber for more comfort while walking. The soles can be replaced, allowing you to keep your boots in service for many seasons. The soles retail for $30 a set. Soles can be replaced by your local shoe repair business or by sending your boots to a company like Pro Boot, which will replace the soles for around $100.
The SG-10s close securely with a replaceable, aluminum, four-buckle system with a Velcro strap up top. An elastic gator on the top and an interior skirt help keep dirt and splashing water out. Replaceable hardware is readily available from Gaerne, and its buckles are interchangeable from one boot model to the next, so if you lose or manage to break a buckle at the track, chances are you can find another Gaerne owner with the hardware to get you through the weekend.
Gaerne SG-10s are available in either white or black.
Four our review of Gaerne’s SG-10 boots, we met up with ATV motocross racer Dave Trimble at his family’s private track in northern Kentucky. Dave has raced everything from local events to the ATV National series over his two plus decades of racing quads.
Stepping into the SG’10s is easy with the hinged razorback. Gaerne’s buckle system is the most simple and effective we’ve used to date. Slide the aluminum buckle through the large eyelet on the strap and fold it back. There’s no posts, small hooks, or anything that requires fine motor skills. Easy on, easy off – even with gloves on.
While Dave felt the SG-10 would benefit from a little break in time, he felt the hinged ankle alignment system allowed for easier pivoting for shifting, braking, and traversing bumps right out of the box. We’ve learned from experience in the past that although the boots break in a bit, they remain rigid tortionally, keeping your ankles in proper alignment.
We commonly hear test riders complain about pressure points in lower priced boots from other manufacturers; not so with the SG-10s. After a full afternoon’s worth of motos, Dave felt the SG-10s were very comfortable with no annoying pressure points in their plush interior.
The harder compound on the dual compound soles offered plenty of traction on the pegs. We’ve seen them last two full seasons of National races and practices before the soles finally wore out and needed replacement, although the rest of the boots were still perfectly functional despite having lost their brilliant white luster.
If you are looking for a boot that offers a high level of protection and uncompromising fit and comfort, we think the Gaerne SG-10s are worth considering.
Gaerne SG-10 boots retail for $479.99. Visit GaerneUSA.com for more information.